[NAFEX] beginner plum panic

Matt Demmon mdemmon at gmail.com
Thu Apr 8 15:27:10 EDT 2010

Melissa, you don't note where you're located, but here in Michigan it's been
so warm so early that many things are not lined up this year like they
normally would be. IE, honeyberries and some pears are blooming 2 1/2 weeks
earlier than normal, while some pears seem like they'll only be a week
early, and apples don't know yet. Some wildflower species are up way way
early, while others are holding out for the 'normal' time despite the
weather. Usually species seem to bloom about the same time as others of that
species no matter what the weather, but hybrid plums might have widely
varying genes and respond to weather differently. Different chilling hours,
etc. Some plants here seem to be able to use the early warm weather, while
others say "I don't care how warm it is, it's april and it aint time to wake
up yet"

Also, the native plums at least seem to bloom before they leaf out, so if
they're too young to bloom, they might not be doing anything yet. So I'd say
give it a couple years and see. Toka is really delicious in my opinion.
Worth a try. I just planted La Crescent, Ptitsin #9, Alderman, and one other
hybrid along with some species seedling, in addition to the native P.
americana seedlings I've had for a couple years, and can't wait to see what

se MI z5

On Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 2:11 PM, Melissa Kacalanos <mijwiz at yahoo.com> wrote:

> I planted 4 plums last year: the hybrids Toka and La Crescent, and a Prunus
> americana and a P. maritima. Also, my neighbor has an ornamental purple-leaf
> plum that bloomed for quite a while last spring. I figured, with this many
> plums, pollination would be fine. But today, my Toka has just about
> blossomed, while all the other plums in the neighborhood are still sensibly
> mostly dormant. Also, my daffodils just popped open today, so we're still
> pretty early in the season.
> Does this mean my Toka is doomed to be an ornamental? I thought P.
> americana was supposed to be a good pollinator for it, but it has a lot of
> catching up to do for its bloom time to overlap with Toka's. Of course, I
> don't even know if it's planning to bloom this year at all, but it isn't
> breaking dormancy nearly as fast as Toka, which doesn't bode well for future
> years.
> Should I be panicking? Should I graft a branch of some other early-blooming
> plum onto Toka? Should I be hoping for plum-daffodil hybrids?
> Melissa
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-matt demmon
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